The 3-3-3 Rule
What to Expect When Welcoming a New Member into Your Family
At Seattle4Dogs, we see a wide variety of dogs on a day to day basis. This includes dogs from all backgrounds- shelters, foster homes, breeders. From some dog, this may be their first and forever home, but some dogs this may be their second or third shot at finding their forever home. One thing remains constant no matter the circumstances, all dogs need time to adjust to their new surroundings.
There is a common rule of thumb for this known as the 3-3-3 Rule. This is essentially a basic breakdown of the milestones and new things your new family member will learn or adapt to in their first 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months with you. Many people can relate to this as well, if it means starting a new job, moving to a new city, or making new friends.
In the first few days your furry friend may be very nervous and unsure. They aren’t sure of their surroundings and they don’t know if the space they are in is going to be a safe one. Stress levels are often very high and your new pet may not want to eat or play. However, they could have the opposite reaction and start to try things out to see what they will be able to get away with in their new home.
At 3 weeks, your pup is starting to realize that your home is a safe place for them. Their true colors start to shine as their guard comes down more everyday. This could also open up more behavioral changes. This could include barking, anxiety, or even aggression. This could be a very trying time for some new pet owners.
However, at 3 months your furry friend has more than likely completely settled into their new routine such as feeding times, when their humans leave/come home from work, and when their dog walkers are coming to pick them up for their 90-minute walk with friends everyday! Your pet has a total sense of love and security in your home and knows that it is also their home.
Here at Seattle4Dogs, we love getting the opportunity to interact with a lot of our dogs on a day to day basis. We get to see this process in action first hand. There is no greater feeling than finally making a breakthrough with a shy dog or seeing a dog’s “lightbulb” go off as they learn how to pose with everyone else for a picture.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed after just adding anew member to your family, don’t worry! They are probably feeling the exact same way. Give everyone time to adjust and get ready to watch your dog blossom into who they were meant to be!
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Written by: Hannah Haydock